Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

Facebook Acquires Hamas: Tool In Further Emotional Manipulation Studies

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FacebookMountain View, CA, Augist 6 – In a follow up paper to Facebook’s controversial emotional manipulation study, Facebook researchers have found that posts reporting and commenting on military or terrorist actions overseas have a statistically significant impact on people’s moods.

In the methodology section of the paper, the authors described how the company quietly acquired Hamas for one billion dollars, and then proceeded to direct the timing and location of missile strikes and air raids. The acquisition bad been previously reported in the press as a hitherto inexplicable purchase of WhatsApp.

To continue reading click here.

Written by Thag

August 6, 2014 at 10:01 pm

With Visibility Of Posts Downgraded, User Sues Facebook For Emotional Distress

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FacebookMenlo Park, CA, June 9 – The owner of a Facebook page struggling to reach and expand his audience is suing the social media giant Facebook for emotional distress resulting from the social media giant’s deliberate withholding of many of his updates from his audience.

Thag Boogerman, who writes for the blog Mightier Than The Pen and the satirical news site PreOccupied Territory, filed  a lawsuit today charging that Facebook, with malice aforethought, displays posts and links to only a handful of users, even when hundreds of users have expressly requested to receive those updates by Liking that page. For each post, the page operator is invited to “boost” its visibility for a cost; the lawsuit charges that this puts beyond Boogerman’s reach the level of exposure necessary to maintain, let alone expand, his audience, thereby thwarting him in his efforts to earn a living, exacerbating domestic tensions, and causing untold emotional distress. Boogerman is asking the courts to order Facebook to pay him $89 million.

Just yesterday, says the thirty-eight-year-old father of five, a user who Liked his page more than a year ago sent him an angry message, asking him why she had not received any updates from his page in six months. She refused to accept his explanation that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm was at fault, and accused him of neglecting his audience.

“I can’t afford to promote every single post, link, and status update,” says Boogerman, who lives in Yehupitz Park. “Every one of my posts is important to me and my users, and Facebook makes truckloads of money on ads, data sharing, and who knows what else. This whole thing is a naked attempt to gouge people for more money, and it increases the gap between the haves and the have nots.” He added that this results in the sad irony of Facebook functioning for so long as a social equalizer – notably during the Arab Spring, when the masses of protesters used the site to coordinate anti-government demonstrations – becoming yet another tool with which the moneyed class presses its wealth to its advantage.

Facebook has yet to respond to the lawsuit, but experts expect them to argue for its dismissal on the grounds that they don’t give a crap about little people when there is so much money to be made. This consideration is especially important, they are expected to argue, since the disastrous IPO of the company’s stock last year.

Written by Thag

June 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Nation Holds Breath As Teen Deliberates Liking Friend’s Selfie

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selfiesUrbana, IL, April 28 – The United States remains on tenterhooks as Samantha Johnson, 14, determines whether or not to click “Like” on the self-portrait of her friend Paula McMaster, also 14.

McMaster, a classmate of Johnson’s at Urbana High School, uploaded a picture she took of herself in the bathroom mirror this morning, just before leaving for school. Seven minutes later, Johnson saw the image in her Facebook feed, and these next few seconds will prove crucial in the developing relationship between the two freshmen.

The stakes in the decision have grown high over the last few days, explains professor of psychology Ben Shwarmer. “The two young ladies move in different cliques at school, and as such are not close friends. Each one considers the other likable enough, but the fact that their parents are pushing them to become close has made each of them wary of doing just that.” Then, three days ago, McMaster and Johnson were the only people their age at a community event to which their parents had dragged them, and the commiseration that they shared sparked a potential new friendship nevertheless.

The two teens exchanged phone numbers and friend requests on Facebook, but had little online interaction in the intervening days, as McMaster’s charger was unavailable. Once she found it and charged her device overnight, she photographed herself several times and chose the image she found most satisfactory to post to her wall. The next several minutes were the first time both of the teens were on line for any significant duration at the same time since they friended each other.

Experts are divided on what will happen. “There’s probably still some residual awkwardness from all the parental associations, and we’re likely to see Ms. Johnson ignore the image entirely,” says Yenta Gross, who writes about social media use for several teen publications. “Shes shown some admirable restraint in the past, such as the time three weeks ago when she tactfully pretended that a friend’s drunken, lewd rant never appeared in her feed.”

Educator Jack Kass disagrees. “Kids are stupid,” he insists. “That’s an ugly picture, it’s obvious the girl is fishing for compliments, and Samantha has a low tolerance for such things.”

“In fact, I think I’m going to post a mocking comment right no – crap. I can’t comment if I’m not a friend. OK, teenage creepy alter ego here I come…”

Written by Thag

April 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Second Coming Delayed; Jesus Distracted By Twitter

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Tweet JesusJerusalem (AP) – The Savior was prepared to return to his corporeal form, reward the faithful, and exact retribution from sinners, but has been waylaid by his constant Twitter habit.

According to divine spokesman St. Peter, the Christ was scheduled to fulfill his promise of a Second Coming once the Boston Red Sox had won the World Series for the third time this millennium, a phenomenon that was all but inconceivable in previous eras. It precipitated extreme instability that the Second Coming was meant to forestall, but Jesus found himself absorbed by the messages of the Twitter accounts he follows religiously, and the links they share. As a result, the world has since experienced Typhoon Haiyan, new Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Coroner: Subject Killed By Not Enough Prayers And Likes On Facebook

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BatesGainesville, Florida (AP) – Jennifer Bates, a local high school senior, died last Wednesday because news of her plight was only shared 228 times on Facebook, according to the County Medical Examiner. The number that would have allowed Ms. Bates to survive her battle with an infection was estimated at 250.

Friends and family gathered this afternoon to mourn the former cheerleader and accomplished student, lamenting the cruelty of a world hat could not spare 22 more Likes and Shares. Her closest friends, in particular, found it difficult to absorb that all it would take to save Jennifer was a click of the Share link, yet untold numbers of Facebook users decided not to expend the fraction of a calorie necessary to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

October 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

4 Out of 5 Stalkers Prefer Pine-Scented Mace

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Oddly, the respondents did not choose anything in the broccoli-cabbage family.

Oddly, the respondents did not choose anything in the broccoli-cabbage family.

New York, NY (AP) – A nationwide poll has found that stalkers like a faceful of mace with the aroma of pine twice as much as they do lemon- or cinnamon-scented spray, according to Criminal Research Associated Partners, a firm that studies the consumer protection market.

The CRAP study asked 2500 stalkers to list their favorite mace scents in order of preference, and pine came out the clear winner, though some areas of the country clearly favored citrus, such as Florida. Overall, about eighty percent of the respondents chose pine as their favorite, with lemon, orange, cinnamon and vanilla rounding out the rankings. The poll had a margin of error that effectively conceals the guy hiding in the bushes.

CRAP CEO Mick Turitian says he was surprised by the results, given that stalkers tend to be a single-minded group, and that he was pleased to discover that they were, on average, sophisticated enough to also consider the aesthetic questions involved in being sprayed by the caustic material. “Last year we conducted a survey about what color dye attempted rapists want to be sprayed with, and there was no clear favorite,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see the American stalker maturing, and realizing there’s more than just incapacitation and uncontrollable tearing to be had from being sprayed with CN Tear Gas.” Turitian referred to the purple dye that is included in some varieties of Chemical Mace, the product’s trade name.

George Tannenbaum, director of Clandestine Romeos Ever Eyeing People (CREEP), a fraternal organization for stalkers, said that tastes in mace have been changing for some time, but the data pool has not been as rich as it is now. “Ten years ago, most of our members ranked a direct spray in the face as about as unpleasant as being kicked repeatedly in the groin, but now mace has outpaced other defenses by a large margin,” he explained. “With the greater variety of scents available today, that’s not much of a surprise – at least, not as surprising as having the object of your devotion mistake your affections for ill intent and giving you a sudden, totally unjustified shot of harmful chemicals in the face.”

Grace Underfire, a carrier of Chemical Mace since 1996, when she was a college student, has used her supply exactly twice, and on both occasions had to opt for an unscented variety. She remains unconvinced of the retail potential of pleasant-smelling mace. “Um…what the hell are you talking about?” she said.

The manufacturer, Mace Security International, declined to say whether the company intends to expand its modest selection of chemical defense sprays to better match the evolving preferences of stalkers. “We have no comment at this time,” said a spokesman under condition of anonymity who kept looking over his or her shoulder, then hurried back into his or her office in an undisclosed location.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook. Visit repeatedly if you wish. We are unaware of the online equivalent of Chemical Mace, unless you count malware. Which we find best with a hint of honey flavor.

Written by Thag

January 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

The Clueless Loser Blogging FAQ

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1. How long does it take to become a Clueless Loser Blogger?

Contrary to what many people believe, Clueless Loser Blogging is not strictly a function of time. A blogger can spend hours at work on a post and still not achieve CLB status. To qualify as CLB behavior, the time spent must include at least:

– 10% staring at one’s work and wondering whether the results so far justify the effort
– 55% engaging in unrelated activities in the vain hope that inspiration lies elsewhere, such as a game of online Spades.
– 30% fuming at the world for not acknowledging your manifest greatness RIGHT NOW.

Some people can attain these numbers right away. Others spend weeks or months unlearning the work ethic they were trained to adopt earlier in life, and some never get there. We call such people “normal.”

2. Can one forfeit CLB status?

Theoretically, CLB can be revoked if one ceases to blog entirely, but that’s a mere techincality: all it means is that the loserness has been transferred to a different medium, much in the way Yasser Arafat continued to be a Nobel Peace Laureate even after fomenting an unsuccessful armed uprising. [ed: the analogy needs work; not politically offensive enough]

3. What are the advantages of Clueless Loser Blogging?

There is no risk of having to deal with a higher tax bracket or too many friends.

4. Who are some famous examples of Clueless Loser Bloggers?

The question demonstrates cluelessness, which means the inquirer has hope of achieving CLB. By nature, CLB people do not achieve fame.

5. Should I include photos of my cat?


6. How important is it to ask the viewers of my blog to click “Like” or share the content on other social media?

It’s a common misconception that the mere presence of a Facebook “Share” or “Like” button is enough to put a blogger on the road to CLB. There are two important additional factors: the frequency the button is clicked and the pathetic begging the blogger does so that viewers do click. In addition, the relationship between those doing the clicking and the blogger plays a role.

Shares that come from non-relatives or viewers unaware of your personality, if they occur more than once or twice a week, can remove you from CLB status. But you can cement your Loserness with sympathy shares. A sympathy share occurs when a viewer knows how crushed you would be if your post went completely ignored, but doesn’t genuinely believe your content deserves the attention. Any clicks that occur as a result of: multiple share buttons; more than a token or understated request for a Like; or sending around a link to your contacts and asking them explicitly to Like or Follow, qualifies as a sympathy share. One sympathy share can offset up to six sincere shares.

7. How long can I go without blogging?

It’s not the frequency or regularity of the blogging that determines Clueless Loser status, but the obsession with the frequency. The Clueless Loser Blogger, despite all the evidence to the contrary, believes that his or her success depends on churning out something every day, or every two days or whatever, regardless of demand. In fact nothing the blogger does will ever amount to anything, but the Clueless Loser Blogger lacks the internal fortitude to accept that, and insists on maintaining delusions of adequacy.

8. How do I find my unique voice?

Check behind the sofa. Otherwise, the dog ate it.

9. Should I buy my own domain name?

No, that requires actual investment that might make you work hard enough for things to work out well. If you want to become a Clueless Loser Blogger you must live as if the quality of your work will bring you attention and financial success all on its own merits, without your having to lift a finger away from the keyboard.

10. What should I write about?

It doesn’t matter, as long as you do it in mediocre fashion. “Mediocre Fashion” would be a perfect Clueless Loser Blog name.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook (this request included to maintain CLB status).

Written by Thag

November 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

Fern Despondent after Being Defronded on Facebook

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Autumn, a fern in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, has withdrawn from social activity after a gymnosperm she admired defronded her publicly on Facebook.

The perpetrator accused Autumn of stalking and repeatedly leaving her hanging. The gymnosperm, named Twiggy, said she never got an anther to comments or questions, and when Autumn did offer any responses, she quickly back-petaled. Twiggy posted on Autumn’s cell wall for everyone to see that she would no longer subject herself to such treetment.

The relationship began several months ago when both Twiggy and Autumn happened to get trunk together one night, and they each discovered the other was an aphid fan of Botany Spears. But Twiggy, who always aimed to become more fully evolved, soon grew past whatever affinity they shared, and made several vein attempts to introduce Autumn to pursuits that were less, in her words, “bush league.”

But Autumn viewed any such changes as growth violations of etiquette, and made a series of more and more obvious digs at Twiggy. In late September she showered the gymnosperm with accusations that she had shared pollen with Chloro Phill. Twiggy initially gave those insults little more than a shrub, not wanting to go the root of outright conflict, but Autumn’s bark became progressively more biting.

After another bitter exchange sapped Twiggy’s will to maintain the relationship, she decided to nip further conflict in the bud. “I have tried to get you to be a good spore about things, but you have done nothing but soil my reputation. I must stem the flow of more insults. I’m sorry we grew apart. It wasn’t plant that way, but you seem incapable of doing anything but adding ovule to the fire,” Twiggy’s first comment read. Autumn reacted with shades of Greta Garbo, first claiming she wanted Twiggy to leave her alone, then publicly unearthing Twiggy’s thorny relationship with the comedian Billy Pistil, another mutual frond, and continuously needling her about it.

That was the last straw for Twiggy. She pruned her list of contacts to avoid any further association with Autumn, and the latter has barely said a word, only speaking up to voice regret at her “foliage attempt” to get along with Twiggy. “It just canopy.”

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, and we promise to minimize further puns that wood ring hollow. Knot!

Written by Thag

October 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm

The Blogging Frustration Proficiency Quiz

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Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook. The valid reasons for not doing so are:
(a) You have already done so.
(b) You work for Google, and are required by company policy to believe that Google+ is so vastly superior to Facebook that even having a Facebook account for non-work purposes would be ridiculous. Of course that just means you have to share this stuff on Google+, which we don’t exactly see you doing.
(c) You have fewer Facebook friends than Bill Buckner, so what’s the point?
(d) You don’t like anything. Not even puppies, chocolate or music.

Written by Thag

September 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Like My Page and Win a Free Invisible Ice Cream Sundae (Zero Calories!)

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Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, thus demonstrating your refined character, taste and social status. Oh, and you’ll smell better, too. Trust us; it will do you good. Just sayin’.

Written by Thag

August 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Share this Post if You Think Everyone Should Be Forced to Share Your Posts

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At gunpoint, if necessary. Because you deserve it. And since you do, so do they.

Written by Thag

May 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm

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Guys Just Don’t Do This

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Written by Thag

February 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm

You Have 12,199 New Enemy Requests

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I might not officially exist, since I don’t have a Facebook presence, but the occasional peeks over my wife’s shoulder have taught me something about Facebook people: too many of them are sickeningly earnest.

I went to high school with a guy we’ll call D (not his real name; his real name is Q). Back then, D was somewhat soft-spoken, but friendly, reasonably popular, and obviously not a nitwit. He’s now a Conservative Rabbi somewhere, possibly out in California, and he posts to Facebook a number of times a day, judging from how often I see his name and visage during those peeks at Miggtha’s feed. Maybe I always catch him at the wrong time, and he has plenty of posts that don’t make him seem like he’s got a prayer shawl stuck up his butt, but that’s not what I’ve seen. It’s all this cause and that cause, and sober analysis and assuming the moral high ground and taking the rightness of [insert cause here] for granted. We were friendly back in the day, but man, if I were to judge the guy now based solely on his Facebook behavior, fuggedaboudit. Who has time for such earnestness when there’s so much mockery to accomplish?

What good are your Facebook friends if they don’t make you laugh, or vice versa? If the links you share do not elicit at least one snarky comment from your friends, you must reexamine your choice in friends. Conversely, if you cannot find something snarky to say about the links or status updates in your feed, you must reconsider your value as a human being.

Everything needs a dose of humor. C’mon, even the Bible has some great lines (Achish, king of Gath: “Do I lack lunatics that you bring this one before me?”). And the book of Esther is one big political farce. If the Good Book sees fit to employ a zinger or two, why are you so goddamn serious? Dude, the second patriarch of Israel was Isaac, whose name means “he will laugh”. When Esther had Haman taken down a peg (OK, a whole fifty-cubit tree), couldn’t you just hear the ancient Persian laugh track between the lines?

So don’t make me come out there and do the mocking on Facebook for you. Or of you.

Written by Thag

July 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Will You Shut Up? I’m Trying to Swim

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Rules of Pool Use:

1. No one wants your bodily slime in the pool, and we hope you do not want anyone else’s there. So shower thoroughly before entering the pool.

2. Urine goes in the toilet only. We really should not have to tell you that it does not belong in the pool. If people wanted to swim in your urine, they would go to your toilet, not this pool.

3. Speedos are prohibited unless the wearer has a physique that is a pleasure to behold.

4. If you wish to run in the pool area, you must first sign a waiver absolving the pool management of responsibility for the consequences. As an aside, the pool facility does have some medical supplies, but we charge for their use.

5. Idling is prohibited in the lap lanes of the pool. Swimmers who encounter persons idling in the lap lanes may forcibly remove the swimwear of the idlers and hold it for ransom.

6. Do not flirt with the lifeguards.

7. All ogling of lithe bodies must be done discreetly. Catcalls, stares or other non-subtle appreciations of the human form in all its sensual beauty will result in dismissal from the facility.

8. The pool management accepts no responsibility for injuries or damage sustained to persons or property resting within twenty feet of the pool edge. You want to lie around and get a tan? Go to the beach or rent a lounge chair.

9. The pool is not a love nest. Couples who wish to embrace or intertwine their limbs must reserve this activity for more private environs.

10. Changing rooms function as their name indicates. Pool guests may not inflict their nudity upon others present beyond the bare minimum necessary for preparation and/or changing. Violators will find their names and photographs published on Facebook.

11. Food is prohibited in the pool area. So are littering, smoking, shouting, fighting, playing music, dancing and foul language. Your right to express yourself through these activities disappears when you enter this facility. Violators will be given violent swimsuit wedgies by frustrated children’s swim instructors.

12. When the pool is in use for swimming lessons, you must wait until the lessons end before entering it. Any mention of your “valuable time” in objecting to this arrangement will be met with a knee to the groin.

13. Faking a need for rescue will result in intentional drowning of the perpetrator.

Written by Thag

January 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

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This Just In: We Do Not Need to Know Your Every Move

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I do not have a Facebook account. I do not ever want a Facebook account. As with any convictions, this remains subject to change, but probably not in the next week or two. Check back every so often for updates.

In any case, as I was saying, I harbor some disdain for Facebook, mostly in regard to the way people use it as a platform to share their logorrhea. So I suppose it’s not so much Facebook per se that I dislike as the behavior of the people who use it. The guidelines for Facebook posting should somewhat mirror your guidelines, if you have any, for saying things out loud in public. That’s what you’re doing, even if it’s not actually spoken. Please avoid the following status posts. Please.

1. Just pooped. Softer than usual.

2. That liver and onions ice cream is repeating on me. Mental note: next time, try the banana-broccoli-peanut-butter flavor.

3. Tell me honestly: am I really a ho?

4. Just got my first period! All over the place!

5. Waiting for that Nigerian widow to come through with the $7,000,000 she promised me.

6. My boyfriend is ugly.

7. Felix is gay. He doesn’t want anyone to know. You didn’t hear it from me.

8. I don’t bother doing the dishes. Eventually, the old food gets so crusted on it just becomes part of the dish and no germs grow on it anymore.

9. Ran out of clean underwear. Anyone got some spare they can get to me before 7:30?

10. Just realized I hate my kids. Just putting that out there.

11. You know, if I wanted to be cryptic…

12. Just apologize already!

13. Planning to threaten to assassinate the President. Anyone want to join me?

Of course most of these and their ilk I have not had the pleasure of encountering with any frequency, as the only experience I tend to have with Facebook is when I’m looking over my wife’s shoulder. Mrs. Thag is an upstanding member of the Facebook community, one who knows better than to clutter her friends’ screens with drivel unless absolutely necessary (such as when they post a status requesting that others respond with drivel; as you can imagine, this doesn’t happen all that frequently).

So I leave it to my legions of fans to share the most inane Facebook status changes they have encountered. I like finding justification for my superciliousness.

Written by Thag

January 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Attention Deficit Order

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You will get no argument from me if you assert that technology has bestowed upon our society untold benefits, without which we would spend countless hours on tasks that now take seconds, such as making a fool of oneself before a large number of people. Once upon a time, one had to wait until a large gathering of people occurred, and then go about the foolishness; now, all one needs is a Facebook account.

I don’t have a Facebook account, mostly because I know what would happen if I did: my family would never see me again. Mrs. Thag gets very pedantic about that kind of thing. So I have to find other ways of making a humiliating spectacle of myself such that if I had a preteen or teenage daughter, the mere thought of our blood relation would drive her to consider the witness relocation program. Unfortunately for her, the Department of Justice does not currently view abject humiliation by being associated with such a horrifying father – one who would make puns in the presence of her friends, or, worse yet, boyfriend – with quite the same severity as it views involvement in organized crime, such that turning state’s evidence is not likely to gain her a new identity, the heinousness of my actions – nay, my very existence – notwithstanding.

While you reread the train wreck that became of that last sentence, we shall proceed.

Now, I know you (checks watch) twenty-first-century people don’t believe that anyone could make a fool of himself before any significant number of people without resorting to YouTube, Facebook, or whatever. You happen to be wrong: a casual glance around me as I walked down the street today – by no means the busiest street in this city of about 700,000 – revealed the presence of hundreds of other humans, in the flesh, only a fraction of whom had earbuds in position so as to block out auditory evidence of my presence. And that’s without the on-again, off-again bumper-to-bumper traffic that graces this artery throughout the day. Since the road in question lies along my daily kindergarten-day-care drop-off and pickup route, self-inflicted abject public humiliation requires little additional effort beyond thinking up ways to engineer it.

I could take up unicycling, egg-juggling, or breakdancing (I’m very, very white, making the prospect ipso facto rip-snortingly funny and thus embarrassing), possibly simultaneously; reciting Lincoln’s second inaugural address at the top of my lungs (though this would not in any way distinguish me from the others around me, those Bluetooth-equipped androids); take up position in the crosswalk and refuse to move when the light changes; distribute nonsensical flyers announcing a sale at some clearly nonexistent establishment on items no one would ever want, such as T-shirts with “Kick Me” emblazoned on the back; the possibilities, as you can well imagine, are endless.

In fact, it appears that many other people have already embarked on a similar pursuit: the guys (always, always guys) who believe that their presence within an enclosed vehicle renders them invisible to anyone else, and thus free to pick their noses extensively (I had no idea a finger could go that far in until I saw that one idiot this morning); people who buy supermarket tabloids; Cleveland Indians fans; 9/11 “Truthers”; poodle owners; political figures who engage in highly questionable personal liaisons and expect not to be outed; graffiti “artists” with illegible, vague and not remotely memorable tags, not to mention poor choice of location (the side of a refrigerator carton; I kid you not); and our favorite, the Darwin Award candidates who decide to drive around the lowered barriers at train crossings.

I do apologize to those of you unjustly lumped into one of the above categories; I’m sure that many of the people described have engaged in their embarrassing behavior without full knowledge of the risks and consequences, so they cannot be faulted entirely (especially the Truthers; the poor souls seem to lack what scientists call, in their technical lingo, a “brain”). But Cleveland? Good grief.

Written by Thag

November 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm